Daylilies forum: Weed Control in Daylily Beds

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Feb 27, 2019 8:42 PM CST
Well, I was wondering what everyone that has a lot of daylilies do for weed and grass control. Last year or two I have used pine straw. I like the looks of it but I still get things germinating Angry I am thinking I might spot spray some before I try regular mulch. I am hoping it will not allow as much light in. Please chime in on how you are maintaining your beauties.

Thumb of 2019-02-28/bluegrassmom/ffaad2 After the Bight


Thumb of 2019-02-28/bluegrassmom/959408 Aliens in the Garden

Name: Mike
Hazel Crest, IL (Zone 5b)
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Hazelcrestmikeb
Feb 27, 2019 8:52 PM CST
Teresa I use the pine bark mulch. I use a treated small paint brush to treat hard to kill weeds in between plants. Grass get dug up by hand in small areas.
I use weed block under the mulch by the fence if there is weeds on the other side.
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Name: Mary
Crown Point, Indiana (Zone 5b)
josieskid
Feb 28, 2019 7:20 AM CST
I mulch with grass cuz I get tons of it from my lawn and the neighbors fields.
Name: Kenny Shively
Rineyville, KY. region 10. (Zone 6b)
Daylilies Hybridizer
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kennysh
Feb 28, 2019 8:25 AM CST
Hi everyone, Teresa, I have used ground leaves for several years now. Great as a mulch or as a soil amendment. Get them for free from city of Elizabethtown. Also spot spray with roundup. What weeds come up are easily pulled out.
Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
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Seedfork
Feb 28, 2019 9:27 AM CST
I do a lot of hand weeding, but much of my gardens are next to two fields that get very little if any maintenance. So the weeds grow tall and the wind spreads the seeds over to me. The grasses and the vines in the fields grow pretty much unimpeded except for my efforts. So I end up spraying a lot of area that is actually not even on my property just trying to keep things under control.
I use pine straw, grass clippings, and leaves as mulch and weed deterrent. No matter how much mulch I put down every year, I still have a lot of weeding by hand to do, and a lot of spraying to do also. But without the mulch I would be totally overloaded with weeds, and they would get completely out of control.
Edited to add photos:
Fields next to me today: Those are not trees in the first two photos just weeds, there is a willow tree and bamboo in that third photo and that causes problems also.
Thumb of 2019-02-28/Seedfork/5f4536
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But right now this early in the year this is what my rows look like with no weeds.
Thumb of 2019-02-28/Seedfork/169015
In many ways this is the best time of the year, because the weeds are just starting to grow and I can keep ahead of them.

[Last edited by Seedfork - Feb 28, 2019 3:12 PM (+)]
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Name: Char
Vermont (Zone 4b)
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Char
Feb 28, 2019 2:42 PM CST

Moderator

I moved the starter post by Teresa (bluegrassmom) and reply posts from the Favorite Daylily Pics thread. This is a good topic to discuss in a new thread. Smiling
Name: Valerie
Ontario, Canada (Zone 4a)
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touchofsky
Feb 28, 2019 2:49 PM CST
I mulch heavily with shredded cedar mulch. It helps a lot. I live next to field, forest and natural areas, so do get seeds blowing in. I have been trying different things to keep my paths between my seedling beds clear, and haven't found any good solutions. I am going to try and find a better landscape fabric. The one I used last year wasn't much good.
Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
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florange
Feb 28, 2019 3:05 PM CST
Just this morning I finished weeding my 4 big daylily raised boxes. I'm ready to give them their annual big fertilization and the weeds need to be out of there! We can't fertilize in warm weather in FL so it's critical to time this right. I'm late this year but the next 2 weeks should be cool enough to make yard work and fertilizing possible.
Name: Dennis
SW Michigan (Zone 5a)
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Dennis616
Feb 28, 2019 6:20 PM CST
Weed control. What a downside to gardening and landscaping! The hours of time it can consume, and money, is a real downer. Being a tall guy seems to make it just that much more difficult to do weeding by hand. Bending way over to the ground is strenuous. If I go down to my knees to weed, getting up and down to change location seems strenuous also. I've also had head rushes when getting up too quickly! When doing heavy weeding on my knees I've found knee pads or a cushion on the ground to put my knees on helps comfort tremendously.

This year I will be trying out a Kana hoe for the first time to see if that makes hand weeding go more quickly and easily. Thank-you to posters in the garden gadget thread for tipping me on to this type of tool. Hopeful it will help.

I mulch most beds with hardwood tree bark mulch that I purchase and get delivered in fairly large quantities every year. I add about 1-3 inches to the beds. That definitely keeps weeds down some. Then I usually apply Preen weed preventer a couple times a year and that really helps a lot.

Seems like no matter what weeds still need to be pulled. I find clover will always come back if you hand pull it, so I do use RoundUp on that when I see it. I try to minimize use of RoundUp, but I also do use it occasionally on patches of grass that similarly always come back after being hand-pulled.

I walk around my landscape and seedling beds a lot, often multiple times per day, and find that spending just a few minutes of "casual" weeding during those visits adds up and helps keep weeds from getting out of hand (but not always).

I am also experimenting in one bed with letting wild strawberries run free around the daylilies. I do think it looks good, the question is will they suppress weeds…
Name: Tim
West Chicago, IL (Zone 5a)
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Lyshack
Feb 28, 2019 7:40 PM CST
Dennis616 said:I am also experimenting in one bed with letting wild strawberries run free around the daylilies. I do think it looks good, the question is will they suppress weeds…


Interesting. I wonder how that will work out for you.

I use whatever cheap mulch I can find, but in some locations, I have small sedum ground cover or vinca ground cover. The sedum doesn't control weeds, but the vinca seems to, but is kind of weedy in its own way. My daylilies within the vincas do well, but no telling how much better they would do without the competition from the vinca.

I like to dig weeds when it's not 90+ degrees and humid like it was most of last summer, but there were some weed puller tools recommended in the thread mentioned above that I'm going to try this year. I hate grasses. I have one that I never had it in my garden until I bought plants from a particular vendor, and it's been a problem around those daylilies ever since. If I knew a spray that would kill it, I would use it. The one "grass killer" for gardens I've seen... I don't think it kills it. Maybe it makes the visible leaves disappear for a while, but it comes back. It's awful when the grass roots get into your daylily roots. I feel like I'm doomed where that has happened.

I can't get rid of those weeds that have seeds in what looks like Chinese lanterns, either. They have runners that shoot out 1 to 2 feet underground, and it seems like there's no way to kill that. Mulch doesn't seem to deter it.

I've tried this roll-on round up for tight spots. It's slow, but eventually kills a lot of weeds, but not grasses or tough to kill weeds. However a friend of mine said it worked on his Poison Ivy, of all things, if someone needs to try that. I've tried Sure Shot Round up for tight spots, too, which is like a foam you can use to coat some of the leaves of a weed. It does better than the roll on, but again, I don't think it really kills the weed, because there will be another one there in the same spot in a month or so.


Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
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florange
Feb 28, 2019 7:51 PM CST
We have a lawn service but I've limited them to the LAWN only! My husband uses Round-up on weeds in general. If I'm not out there with him, he comes in to ask what areas I want sprayed. In Florida, we aren't supposed to mulch our daylilies or our veggies. The mulch will keep them too wet with the amount of rain we get. It will also harbor insects and diseases related to wet conditions.

I am short, at 5'2" and we won't talk about age. I've been bent in half for most of 2 days and my lower back isn't happy. I'm going to have to wait probably until Monday before I begin fertilizing. That will require more bending as I scoop a small trench around daylilies, throw in the fertilizer, and then cover it back up. It isn't a fast process, but it will require even more intense bending over. Ugggg!!!
Name: Sue Petruske
Wisconsin (Zone 5a)
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petruske
Feb 28, 2019 10:07 PM CST
I also use a combination of things for weed control.
Mulch: Usually apply every other year. Buy it in bulk which is generally 500 dollars each time. D'Oh! Gezz, wouldn't you think I'd cut back on garden space??? Nooo, I keep adding. D'Oh! D'Oh!
I also use preen, roundup, LOTS of hand weeding. Hoe where the mulch (or lack of) allows.
Hand pulling is always the best but as others mentioned, some particular weeds just need to be sprayed.
Name: Greg Bogard
Winston-Salem, NC (Zone 7a)
Sscape
Mar 1, 2019 10:39 AM CST
I know it is a real downer---literally, but the only way to do a thorough job of weeding is on your knees with your hands. To protect my hands I have a pair of Atlas Therma Fit gloves. You can get them from Amazon. American made, and the very BEST work gloves I have ever used. The rubber coating is real rubber that does not age. My first pair lasted five years before I had to replace them.
To protect my knees I use a memory foam pad that I got from a nursery center. I have used the kind you strap to your knees. They are a pain because you need to keep readjusting them. I have used a few different kneeling pads. Most are too hard with not enough give. The memory foam ones are definitely the best. Get two so you can kneel on one a put the other ahead.
I work my way down one side of the bed, round the end, then work down the opposite side. I make my beds five feet wide because my easy reach is about 2.5 feet. You do not want to strain at it---or it will never get done. If you are over six feet tall, your reach is probably 3'--so you could make the beds wider.
I used to use pine bark mulch. I do not any more because too many weed seeds came in with it. I also used grass clippings. They were the worst because they contained every weed seed from my lawn. Now I use pine bark mini nuggets. They cost a bit more, but do a better job. They are much cleaner, last longer and look nicer. If you do not care what it looks like, shredded paper is great. It blocks the weeds effectively and reflects the sunlight up to the plants to make them grow stronger while keeping the soil cooler.
I weed twice/ year: early Spring, and late summer. If you get every weed before they get to the size where they bloom and produce seeds---each year there will be less and less until it is just the few that come in from the wind, birds, and mulch. In other words, weeding gets easier over time so long as you do it right.
Name: Charley
Arroyo Seco New Mexico (Zone 4b)
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Charlemagne
Mar 1, 2019 11:34 AM CST
I used to have weed problems but no more! I joined the AWS, The American Weed Society. They have a news letter and conventions, local clubs, just like daylilies. There is weed auction help (WAH) and I've found the more expensive weeds are really delicate and hard to keep alive. I've started buying weed seeds and seeding whole areas and sure enough, most of the area I've seeded is bare ground the next year.

I am having a little trouble as my daylilies start creeping in where the weeds once were.

Charley
To achieve great things, two things are needed: a plan and not quite enough time.
Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Mar 1, 2019 11:55 AM CST
Last fall I put down Snapshot for the first time on the advice of other daylily growers including hybridizers to assist in keeping weeds at bay. I have used Preen in the past but was told Snapshot does a much better job, also off of Amazon I got a spreader for putting it down in the garden which worked very well for me made quick work of the job.
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Betty
MN zone 4
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daylilydreams
Mar 1, 2019 11:56 AM CST
Charley wonderful attitude! Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
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Betty MN Zone4 AHS member

Name: Regina
Warrenville, SC (Zone 8a)
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scflowers
Mar 1, 2019 1:30 PM CST
Great advice so far!

Like everyone else, I hate having weeds in the garden and do my best to keep them at bay. I use loads of mulch around my plants...don't be stingy with it! Keep it at least 2" thick to prevent light from getting to those weed seeds. In addition, if you have a really tough spot, put down cardboard first around your plants or in a pathway, wet it down to help hold it in place, then cover it with mulch. It works wonders!

And I know it's a pain and not everyone has the time, but if you can grab the young weeds before they seed up that is really the key to breaking the cycle...hard work and lots of effort.

I had garden visitors this summer that remarked about how weed-free my gardens were...that definitely brought a smile to my face because I know (and my back knows!!) how hard it is to keep it that way.

I might also add this: everyone likes free flowers but many can't necessarily afford buying. Place a note (with a picture of a pretty flower) at your local garden center that you will swap plants in exchange for a couple hours of helping to pull weeds. You might get some great help for very little cost to you.😁
[Last edited by scflowers - Mar 1, 2019 1:31 PM (+)]
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Name: Arlene
Florida's east coast (Zone 9a)
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florange
Mar 1, 2019 8:55 PM CST
I always wear gloves because I have hand skin problems. Have all sorts of knee protection too. The sides of some of the boxes are too low, so I just sit on the edge. I'm slender, so that's not a problem. I've been known to kneel on the grass too. But in the back it's all bark around the boxes so the pads come out and I just go to work. The rabbits came in last night and nipped "Cowboy Blues" down to 1/2" again. We put a plastic fence up late this afternoon with gusty winds and cool temps. It should keep them "pesky wabbits" out of there. I'm feels so much sympathy for Elmer Fudd. He had more problems with the rabbits than I do. But not by much! They again eat the radishes but not the carrots because the new foliage of the carrots is so fine they probably didn't even see it!
Name: Diana
Lincoln, NE (Zone 5b)
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ShakespearesGarden
Mar 2, 2019 12:06 AM CST
For me, it's a lot of weeding by hand. I'm sorta young still and don't mind sitting cross legged on the ground to pull weeds. I do use grass clippings for mulch (when young and no seeds are present). I use wood mulch in some of the raised beds where I have a "new dirt" advantage. And I have planted some small leaved sedums in another bed. I avoid any kind of chemicals near the flower and veggie beds. I did have to use Round-Up on patches of poison ivy along the fences (and I'll do it again if I have to!).

I tend to leave weeds such as clovers as they are nitrogen fixers. They feel nice under foot, the roots are shallow and they shade the soil. I also tend to leave anything edible except the dandelions. Those I soak and dig out so I can get as much of the taproot as possible. We have creeping jenny that drives me batty. I dig that out as much as possible as frequently as I can. That's the worst weed I have.

I used to have some kind of tall perennial weed that made a gigantic tap root. Not quite sure what it was, but I got rid of it by digging out as much as possible, then pouring boiling water on the remaining parts. The tap root was seriously long, wide and deeeeep.

... I checked my Weeds of North America book- that dang weed with the ridiculous tap root is curly dock. Thumbs down


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Name: Roger & Karen
Birmingham, Al (Zone 7a)
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Diggerofdirt
Mar 2, 2019 7:13 PM CST
We hand weed and use freehand twice a yr
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